Place    From 1651  To 1960

Hay's Wharf

Categories: Commerce, Food & Drink

The land between Tooley Street and the Thames has been occupied by wharves and warehouses since the middle ages. Hay's Wharf originated as a Tooley Street brew-house of which Alexander Hay took ownership in 1651. In 1656 Hay let part of the wharf and buildings to the New River Company.  This became known as Pipe Borers’ Wharf and here trees were hollowed out to make London’s first water mains. The Hay's Wharf Company grew to own most of the complex between London and Tower Bridges.  

The current Hay's Wharf Buildings were constructed in 1856 by Sir William Cubitt on the site of the 18th century wharf. Hay's Wharf was one of the earliest complexes to incorporate fireproofing, using incombustible floors of brick arches on cast iron beams. Despite this Hay's Wharf was destroyed in the great fire of Tooley Street of 1861, and then largely rebuilt. The wharf handled all cargoes except tobacco, but specialised in provisions and tea. In the 1860's the use of cold storage was pioneered here and the area became known as "London's Larder". 75% of the bacon, butter, cheese and canned meat needed for London was stored here. In the 1960s the cargo business was revolutionised by the introduction of container ships and it all moved away from the centre of London. Incidentally, don't believe anyone who says the word "wharf" is an acronym for "warehouse at river front". Complete rubbish; the word has an eminently respectable etymology from Old English.

2021: A London Inheritance has an excellent post on Hay's Wharf and nearby.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Hay's Wharf

Commemorated ati

Glaziers Hall

The Glaziers Hall The land in this area formed part of the site of the cloist...

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Great fire of Tooley Street

2021: This plaque has been replaced with a similar plaque, re-branded to prom...

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Hay's Wharf - riverside

Hay's Galleria In the mid 1850's, following the steady rise of the River Tham...

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Hay's Wharf - Tooley Street

The little plaque that you can see at the top of the picture is disappointing...

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Hay's Wharf war memorial

To the memory of those members of the staff of the proprietors of Hay's Wharf...

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Show all 6

This section lists the memorials created by the subject on this page:
Hay's Wharf

Creations i

Silver Jubilee - Montague Close

This monument, built with the aid of funds donated by the Pilgrim Trust, was ...

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Other Subjects

Pool of London Partnership

Pool of London Partnership

From City of London : The Pool of London Partnership was established in 1996 and operated in an area stretching East from London Bridge to the Butler's Wharf / St. Katherine's Dock area and include...

Group, Commerce, History, Politics & Administration

9 memorials
Birchin Lane drapers

Birchin Lane drapers

From Stow: "...Birchin Lane. . . . This lane, and the High Street, near adjoining, hath been inhabited for the most part with wealthy drapers; from Birchin Lane ... in the reign of Henry VI., had y...

Group, Commerce, Craft / Design

1 memorial
Neckinger Mills, Bermondsey

Neckinger Mills, Bermondsey

The Mills used to cover a large part of this area. Buildings remain at 162-164 Abbey Street. From Ideal Homes: "Bermondsey was known as a major industrial centre with particular specialisation in l...

Building, Commerce

1 memorial
Bull and Mouth Inn

Bull and Mouth Inn

A coaching inn. From British History: "Burnt in the {1666 Great} Fire and rebuilt. Rebuilt about 1830-1 as the Queen's Hotel. Demolished 1887. The inn is said to have derived its name from the sign...

Building, Commerce, Food & Drink, Transport

2 memorials
Saracen's Head Inn

Saracen's Head Inn

Mentioned in 1522 as an inn with 30 beds and stalls for four horses. Removed (as shown in the picture) for the formation of Holborn Viaduct and its approaches 1868.

Building, Commerce, Food & Drink

1 memorial